On Beltane Eve…

There is probably nowhere else in the country where you can walk through a residential estate on a Saturday morning, in full ceremonial robes and with magical symbols painted on your forehead, without anyone batting an eye. It could only be Glastonbury. After centuries of being at the heart of the land’s tales of myth, legend and magic, they are used to stranger sights than that.

For once, it wasn’t me but our hostess who strode forth in flowing robes of crimson and purple. Alienora was taking part in a play as part of the celebrations… not that she and her theatrical friends were the only one in robes and costumes…. the town was awash with colour and excitement. Mine as much as any, for we were to meet our American friends and, as we see them only once a year at best, I felt like a child at Christmas…with hugs and greetings the gifts.

The day was young, so together we walked to the tiny chapel of St Margaret, tucked away off Magdalene St. It is a beautiful and peaceful place and one we always visit, sitting to meditate within its ancient calm. A walled garden encloses the chapel and almshouses. Founded a thousand years ago, the current building dates back to 1444.

The almshouses still stand and one has been restored to show how it could have looked many years ago. Just a single celled room with a wooden platform for sleeping… simple, but well appointed for the ‘ten poor men’ who were housed there. It was to be the only quiet moment of the day…

There was music in the Abbey grounds, and all through the town there were Green Men, damsels, dragons and just about everything else you can imagine from the town’s history and the mythical story of Avalon.

When the rain began, we must have had the best seat in town. The windows of Morgana’s office, our base for the proceedings, look directly over the Market Cross… and the windows are designed to be completely removed.

We had an excellent vantage point when the freshly cut maypole was carried through the streets. The tree had been prepared, according to tradition, and the wood carved with runes and symbols… a ar cry from the synthetic ‘barbers shop’ maypoles beloved of the Victorians. We watched as it was carried, with song and laughter, up the High Street to its destination on the Tor.

We watched too as the procession began with the drums.  There would be time to talk later… time to catch up a little, share a meal, and just share time and presence together… but for now there were dragons, red and white like the twin streams that flow from beneath the sacred hill.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
This entry was posted in albion, Ancient sites, Friendship, Glastonbury and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to On Beltane Eve…

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! Woow Sue this all looks and sounds amazing!!💜

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  2. alienorajt says:

    Fabulous, Sue – brings back many happy memories. xxx

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  3. alienorajt says:

    Reblogged this on Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman! and commented:
    Our recent Beltane weekend through the eyes and lovely words of Sue Vincent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That looks absolutely marvelous! I really wish I WAS there. Have the best Beltane ever 😀

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  5. jenanita01 says:

    What a wonderful day, I would have loved to be there!

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  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Sue Vincent with Beltane’s Eve in full colour. What strikes me about this celebration is the number of people sharing and embracing it. This is worship that we would have all joined in with in ancient times and despite all the efforts to regiment, regulate and diminish.. it still survives today. Perhaps because it offers us a more nourishing way to appreciate the creation of our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Jones says:

    How fab! I must get to Glastonbury one day… Sounds as though you had a lovely time. Hope you’re feeling better, too xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dagreenway says:

    A great read! David (Town Crier of Glastonbury)

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  9. A wonderful event, Sue.

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  10. Wow. That looks like soooo much fun!

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  11. noelleg44 says:

    Now there’s a colorful and fun time! I’m envious!

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  12. Tina Frisco says:

    Glastonbury is now on my bucket list, Sue. Beautiful and inspiring post ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jennie says:

    Fascinating. Part of history and something far more important. I can only imagine. Wonderful.

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  14. dgkaye says:

    This looks like a wonderful celebration. Wonderful you were able to attend Sue. Thanks for sharing a bit of it with us. 🙂 ❤

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  15. paulandruss says:

    Magical post Sue- it must have been amazing

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  16. olganm says:

    I’m very envious, Sue. It looks great!

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  17. Wow, this looks wonderful, Sue. I love how everyone is drawn together to celebrate, and all of the colour too! 🙂

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  18. Rae Longest says:

    Great pics. What a glorious time.

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